Waymo is planning to release self-driving minivans late January

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With Waymo and its self-driving technology you will get where you want to go at the push of a button

Waymo

Source: https://medium.com/waymo/say-hello-to-waymo-whats-next-for-google-s-self-driving-car-project-b854578b24ee#.obv6lsfrh

You may think that Google said goodbye to self-driving cars. But you have to rethink that, because Waymo, the self-driving car startup project from Google, is ready to release the Chrysler Pacifica minivans. Waymo is a self-driving technology company with a mission to make it safe and easy for people and things to move around. Without a driver!

But, there are some fascinating facts about Google’s project, Waymo. The company created sensors to go along with the self-driving software. And Chrysler was more than happy incorporate the software to its Hybrid Pacifica minivan. So at the end of January a fleet of 100 will begin cruising. On a sidenote the company has tested its technology on nearly 2.5 million miles of road. That’s a lot of testing. The autonomous fleet minivans will hit the roads in Mountain View, California and Phoenix, Arizona.

John Krafcik, Waymo’s chief executive said at a speech:

“Today we can imagine our self-driving technology being applied in a variety of ways: personal transportation, ride hailing, logistics, last-mile solutions for public transport, just to name a few.”

And some people might be sceptical about the newest project powered by Google, because the company put a halt to its self-driving vehicle. But, the fact that Waymo appeared pretty quickly after the announcement show us that Google is not ready to abandon that dream.   And let’s not forget that Google started to experiment with self-driving technology back in 2009, and Krafcik said the sensors unveiled Sunday are the latest addition of that research and development.

Another fascinating factor is that Waymo’s system allows the car to “see” its 360-degree surroundings. That system will help the car to navigate accordingly using LIDAR sensors that send out millions of laser points each second and eighth “vision modules” that construct a high-resolution picture. Also, a radar tracks down objects as they move around the car.

John Krafcik said about the technology:

“It’s a virtuous cycle,” “Better hardware gives us better data to develop our software; and as our software become more sophisticated, we get better at optimizing the most important aspects of our hardware.”

Finally building both the hardware and the software cuts down the cost. Krafcik noted that the company was shaving 90 percent off its costs.

 


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Author: Martha Papadimitriou

Martha is a journalist, a blog writer, a mother and a bookworm. She studied Journalism and Communication and graduated in 2002. She has a restless spirit and loves to learn new things. Martha also wants to make the world a better place, and when she is not working she enjoys reading and cooking.

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